PR is an often misunderstood service that can make or break a business’s marketing strategy. Very similar to titles like a producer in music, few people know what a cannabis public relations professional actually does. However, it is always evident when they are not present.
Here at Doja, we come from the music business where PR firms are used in nearly every major release or promotion. Now after years of marketing dispensaries online we have decided to clear up some misconceptions. Although we are known as cannabis SEO experts, public relations is the main underlying force of all our campaigns.
Much like advertising or marketing, a cannabis public relations campaign is meant to promote a service, person, or product. The difference however is a publicist promotes through their established network of connections. A good publicist will get a client on a big podcast or in a featured article in High Times. These are connections one cannot just go out and simply ‘buy’. These connections can include placements with news outlets, television/radio interviews, public speaking events, or even influencer marketing on social media.
As Warren Buffett has said before, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it”. Don’t gamble with your PR!
What does a PR person do?
A good publicist is a great storyteller. Much like like the director of a film. They will always want their clients to look as good as possible and they know how to position them to do so. An advertiser doesn’t really care what happens to your brand as long as they get their money. A publicist’s job is to protect and cultivate your brand. The more successful you are… The more they prosper.
The Basic Outline of a successful Cannabis Public Relations campaign.
- Start by analyzing the current PR of the business and establish what will make the business stand out from the competition. From there create a story which the campaign will be focused around.
- Write a series of press releases to be syndicated through a network of news sources.
- Create social Media promotions/ contests and administer the process.
- Book promotional shows or tours of radio/television.
- Influencer outreach to share and feature your business.
- Organize public speaking events at industry trade shows etc.
- Act as liaison to media/ promotional events.
- Help with public speaking strategy and reputation management.
Why is PR important in the Cannabis Industry?
Good PR is an absolute must in this industry due to the immense stigma still attached to cannabis. Many people still see marijuana users as ‘stoners’ and ‘hippies’. In our experience the businesses that have clean ‘lifestyle brands’ stick around and do well. Thousands of people are discovering cannabis every day and if you can be the company that introduces them, you will have a devoted lifetime customer. The competition is fierce in the cannabiz. There is definitely a bit of a ‘wild west’ feeling in the air. A great cannabis public relations person will act as a buffer to envious competitors and have expert reputation management skills on hand to be used at any time.